Call for your free consultation:
(212) 608-3734
Auto AccidentApril 25, 2018

Are Taxi Accidents a Big Risk in NYC?

Taxicab Safety in New York

Yellow taxicabs are practically our mascots in New York City, and they’ve been made famous with supporting roles in many Hollywood movies—even a Scorsese movie title. But sometimes, these mascots “attack.”

If you were injured in a taxicab accident, you might be entitled to compensation. At The Case Handler, we can help determine whether you have a valid claim for damages. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


Jim Burns, the co-creator of MTV Unplugged, was struck by a taxi as he crossed Fifth Avenue. He suffered a head injury and died two days later. Earlier in 2017, a two-car yellow cab crash at 85th Street and Second Avenue put three outdoor diners in the hospital. Not a month later, a New York Water Taxi collided with Pier 79 in Hell’s Kitchen, injuring over 30 passengers. Not quite the same, but still notable.

Taxis are all around us in the City. But how safe are they, really?


ABC 7 published the results of an investigation into for-hire vehicle safety. It revealed that passengers in NYC have a 1 in 5 chance of hailing a ride with a serious, uncorrected defect—as in, a vehicle or part that was recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Around 130,000 taxicabs and rideshare vehicles currently share these defects, but ABC 7 found that recall compliance rates were much lower for taxicabs.

Christopher Basso, a public relations manager at Carfax, which helped conduct the investigation, said: “These are safety-related issues, things that can cause fires, crashes, exploding airbags, real safety concerns that not only impact the passengers of those vehicles but anyone else on the road, as well.”

Among the defects that have been recalled are “sticky” accelerators, doors that can’t lock, steering wheels that lock up, exploding Takata airbags, and more.


According to the most recent data available from the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), the average number of crashes from a TLC-licensed vehicle resulting in injury was 883 per month in 2018 and 819 per month in 2019. During those two years, the vehicles were involved in 72 crashes causing serious injury or death. 

If you are injured in a taxi accident in NYC, it is imperative to speak to an attorney. An attorney can help determine the best course of action given the circumstances of your case. It is important to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages so it is in your best interest to act quickly.


All for-hire vehicles are given three inspections a year by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), and yellow cabs are specifically checked out at a facility in Queens. But TLC does not require taxi drivers to correct recalls to pass inspections and pick up passengers. They say the amount of recalls makes this too difficult to do, at present, but they are “actively working” to develop a more streamlined system.

ABC 7 quoted Meera Joshi, chair of TLC, as saying: “The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recalls are all considered safety recalls, but some of them are a high priority, and some are a much lower priority. These people’s livelihood is driving professionally. So, if we are going to say you can’t drive because you haven’t met a recall, we need to make sure it’s a high-priority recall.”

NHTSA requires manufacturers to fix recalls at no cost, and most repairs take less than a day to complete. This seems like an easy and inexpensive fix…some taxi drivers appear to be putting money ahead of their passengers’ lives.


Before doing anything else, make sure you call 911 and get medical attention. If you’re hit by a taxi, that driver is legally required to stay at the scene and give you his company information. (That doesn’t mean all taxi drivers will do this, so be proactive and insist.) Gather all the details you can and take photos because these will be very important when you file a civil claim against the taxi company for your injuries and damages.

Yellow cabs in NYC are required to have a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance coverage. Even if the taxi is judged “not at fault,” many cab companies also carry no-fault insurance coverage that may apply to your situation. However, many critics say this isn’t enough…and that the TLC and state legislature need to raise the minimum.

CBS2 quoted Sian Green-Lord, a British citizen who was hit while touring New York in 2013: “I was hit by a taxi. I lost my leg. My medical costs for now, my limbs, are a lot of money, and I have to pay for that, which I don’t think is fair. And the payout that I’m probably going to get now will not even cover that a tiny bit.”


If you were hit by a taxi or involved in a taxicab accident, we strongly recommend you get a New York City car accident attorney right away. An attorney can help you understand your rights and can assist in pursuing a legal claim against any liable party. The Case Handler team at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP has a proven track record of success for injured clients like you, so call us for a no-cost consultation today at (212) 608-3734.

Share This Story

Interested in this topic? Your friends might be too! Consider sharing this story to your social media channels and look like a smart, sophisticated resource of information.
One Chance. One Choice.
One Case Handler.

A personal injury or workplace accident can be devastating for you and your family. The Case Handler team digs deep to investigate your case, identify the responsible party or parties, and press for the maximum compensation for your injuries so you can move on with your life.

Call for Your Free Consultation
(212) 608-3734
250 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, New York 10007
Peekskill Office
1045 Park Street, Suite 104
Peekskill, New York 10566

Attorney advertising. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney / client relationship. Prior successful results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case.

smartphoneuploadmagnifiercrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram